the truth about love.

another truth about love/the dating world/that whole 9 yards thing. reading something where it literally feels as if the author climbed into your brain, untangled all your thoughts and then spun them into pure bliss is amazing. that is what follows here (click the truth about love).

two favorite snap shots:

"That we go on at all is a mark of our courage. That we learn the part so well is a mark of how much is at stake."

"If the purpose is to pick a mate for life, you're hardly likely to find a suitable one on your first go. What's more, even if you did get lucky, you'd almost certainly not have the emotional wherewithal to keep the relationship going. Adults often lament the love they had and lost in high school and wonder what would have happened if they had met just a few years later. But the only way to acquire the skills to conduct a lifetime relationship is to practice on the onces you may destroy in the process."

...and then a long but amazing chunk that is basically about one of my theories:

"For all this, there may be a paradoxical logic to romantic love. Imagine a world without it, a world of rational shoppers looking for the best available mate. Unsentimental social scientists and veterans of the singles scene know that this world is not entirely unlike our own. People shop for the most desirable person who will accept them, and that is why most marriages pair a bride and a groom of roughly equal desirability. The 10s marry the 10s, the 9s marry the 9s and so on. That is exactly what should happen in a marketplace where you want the best price you can get (the other person) for the goods you're offering (you).

But we also know this isn't the whole picture. Most daters find themselves at some point with a match who ought to be perfect but with whom for some reason the chemistry isn't there. Why do the principles of smart shopping give us only the rough statistics of mate choice, not the final pick?

The reason is that smart shopping isn't enough; both parties have to close the deal. Somewhere in this world lives the best-looking, richest, smartest person who would settle for you. But this ideal match is hard to find, and you may die single if you insist on waiting for such a mate to show up. So you choose to set up house with the best person you have found so far.
Your mate has gone through the same reasoning, which leaves you both vulnerable. The law of averages says that someday one of you will meet an even more desirable person; maybe a newly single Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie will move in next door. If you are always going for the best you can get, at that point you will dump your partner pronto. But your partner would have invested time, child rearing and forgone opportunities in the relationship by that point. Anticipating this, your mate would have been foolish to enter the relationship in the first place, and the same is true for you. In this world of rational actors, neither of you could thus take the chance on the other. What could make you trust the other person enough to make that leap?

One answer is, Don't accept a partner who wanted you for rational reasons to begin with. Look for someone who is emotionally committed to you because you are you. If the emotion moving that person is not triggered by your objective mate value, that emotion will not be alienated by someone who comes along with greater mate value than yours. And there should be signals that the emotion is not faked, showing that the person's behavior is under the control of the involuntary parts of the brain--the ones in charge of heart rate, breathing, skin flushing and so on. Does this emotion sound familiar?"

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